I cannot begin to express my outrage that radioactive materials are considered for anything other than dead storage, as far away from people, animals, and plants as possible. Please continue to keep radioactive metal from nuclear bomb factories and weapons laboratories out of the commercial metal supply, commerce, and our personal items!
The current Department of Energy bans (suspension and moratorium begun in 2000) must be made permanent and expanded to keep all radioactive waste–-plastic, concrete, soil, asphalt, etc. in addition to all metals-–under control and out of commercial recycling. Do not, under ANY circumstances—lift the metal bans.
I absolutely do not authorize in any way DOE to use so-called “authorized” contamination levels to allow nearly 14,000 metric tons (to start with) of radioactive metal from nuclear bomb factories and laboratories out of control and into items with which I come into daily contact. I also oppose sending man-made radioactive waste at ANY level to solid and/or industrial landfills not intended for radioactive waste.
Such an irresponsible, irreversible plan would at the very least require a full Environmental Impact Statement and many, many public hearings, especially given the precedent this would set. DOE cannot claim a “finding of no significant impact” from this action because there is not even an estimate of the total amount of radioactivity that would be released. There has been no assessment of the impact on women, who are more likely than men to get cancer from radiation exposure, nor on children, who are even more likely to become ill. Furthermore, there has not been a full economic analysis of how much government money, if any, would be saved and how much would be spent on the consequent health costs incurred by putting the public at this unnecessary, preventable risk. The Presidential orders encouraging recycling do NOT support radioactive recycling. This action would actually hinder the intent of the Presidential orders by tainting or poisoning the recycling supply, potentially increasing the demand for new metal mining.
Since there is absolutely NO safe level of radiation, our government should prevent unnecessary, involuntary exposures to this and future generations. Lifting the ban would allow release of all kinds of radioactivity including such very long-lasting isotopes as plutonium-239 (hazardous for a quarter to half million years) and niobium-94 (200 to 400 thousand years hazardous) and very intense ones like cobalt-60 and polonium-210.
We get enough exposure from big accidents like Fukushima, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, and from less publicized accidents and so-called routine releases from every nuclear fuel chain facility, from mining to waste management, and from other sources. We certainly do not need deliberate, additional dispersal of radioactive metal or other radioactive materials into the metal supply and marketplace.
Doses in millirems, which DOE claims establish the regulatory exposure limit, can’t be measured because they are calculations. To avoid unnecessary, involuntary exposure of this and future generations, we must prevent ALL radioactive pollution of the metal supply.
Again, at minimum, a full EIS would be required before DOE could begin such a program. However, that is not even sensible; this heinous concept should simply be dropped, the suspension made permanent, and efforts shifted to isolating and preventing radioactive releases and exposures. That is more than enough work.
Thank you. I look forward to this suggestion being dropped immediately.
NB: This is my customization of the public comment letter from NIRS, Nuclear Information and Resource Service.